Looking back last decade 2010-2019

The end of the decade. People have been eagerly celebrating the end of the 2010s. But was January 1, 2020, really the beginning of the decade? It depends on who you ask – When exactly the decade begins and ends all depends on who you ask. When it comes to decades, there seems to be some flexibility. It depends on language how we talk about time spans. Remember that there was never a year zero and it has effect on centuries and millennia definitions. So, how come this rule doesn’t apply to decades? Society seems to have collectively determined that decades begin in years ending in zero and end on years ending in nine. If you insist that decade does not end in the end of 2019, you are not wrong, because maybe it’s technically correct to say that the decade ends in the 0 year, not the 9 year. But saying that would annoy most people. Does any of this matter? A stronomically, not really. It’s a man-made system.

As January 1, 2020, approached, very many publications were is reflecting about the past decade and the new one that awaits. “Best of the decade” lists are everywhere. Here are links to some lists:









  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    In a decade of cybersecurity alarms, these are the breaches that actually mattered

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The last decade in robotics has been incredible! To kick off 2020, Spectrum’s Automaton blog takes a look back at the most popular robot stories of the last 10 years.

    10 Years of Automaton’s Most Popular Stories

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How clear were 2020 automation predictions?
    Think again: Did you have 2020 vision? How clear were your foresights? Predictions of automation, controls, and instrumentation for 2020 were spot on, though perhaps closer to the ideal than to where most are. Are you making these changes quickly enough to stay competitive?

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A retrospective on the first two decades of control system cyber security – culture issues still prevent successfully securing control systems

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Top 10 Tech Failures From 2019 That Hint At 2020 Trends

    Last year’s tech failures often turn into next year’s leading trends, including glitchy spacecraft, faulty communications, cloud buckets, hacks, machine-bias, bad products and more.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:


    We close out our recap of 2019 and head into the new year with one last flashback: when vendors forget what the definition of “unique” is. Original — Remy

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    John Gruber / Daring Fireball:
    Ten years after the iPad’s launch, it has not come close to being revolutionary or living up to its potential because of its inconsistent multitasking software

    The iPad Awkwardly Turns 10

    Ten years ago today, Steve Jobs introduced the iPad on stage at the Yerba Buena theater in San Francisco. It surprised everyone, in several ways. Some expected a touchscreen Mac with a stylus. Some expected a product that would do for the news industry what the iPod had done for the music industry a decade prior. Most expected a $1,000 starting price. The iPad was none of those things. It was also Jobs’s final big new product announcement.

    “It’s just a big iPhone” was the most common initial criticism. Turns out, “just a big iPhone” was a fantastic idea for a new product — music to tens of millions of iPhone users’ ears.

    Jobs’s on-stage pitch was exactly right. The iPad was a new class of device, sitting between a phone and a laptop. To succeed, it needed not only to be better at some things than either a phone or laptop, it needed to be much better. It was and is.

    Ten years later, though, I don’t think the iPad has come close to living up to its potential.

    iPad hardware is undeniably great. Lower-priced models are excellent consumer tablets

    Software is where the iPad has gotten lost. iPadOS’s “multitasking” model is far more capable than the iPhone’s, yes, but somehow Apple has painted it into a corner in which it is far less consistent and coherent than the Mac’s, while also being far less capable. iPad multitasking: more complex, less powerful. That’s quite a combination.

    Consider the basic task of putting two apps on screen at the same time, the basic definition of “multitasking” in the UI sense.

    On the iPhone you can only have one app on screen at a time. The screen is the app; the app is the screen. This is limiting but trivial to understand.

    On iPad you can only have two apps on screen at the same time, and you must launch them in entirely different ways — one of them intuitive (tap any app icon), one of them inscrutable (drag one of the handful of apps you’ve placed in your Dock). And if you don’t quite drag the app from the Dock far enough to the side of the screen, it launches in “Slide Over”, an entirely different shared-screen rather than split-screen mode. The whole concept is not merely inconsistent, it’s incoherent.

    How would anyone ever figure out how to split-screen multitask on the iPad if they didn’t already know how to do it?

    I like my iPad very much, and use it almost every day. But if I could go back to the pre-split-screen, pre-drag-and-drop interface I would.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    “How slowly, though? Well… If the language you’re using happens to be Java, then you’ve no doubt realized that by the time Java becomes a really good language, you’ll be dead. Loooong dead. I know we don’t like to contemplate our own mortality, but when you plot the trajectory of Java from its birth 20+ years ago to its full knee and hip replacement with Java 8, you can’t help but wonder, “Am I going to be stuck with this for literally the rest of my life? What if this is as good as it gets?””

    Why Kotlin Is Better Than Whatever Dumb Language You’re Using

    Ah, clickbait. Where would the internet be without it? The answer will shock you!

    Unfortunately — for long complicated legacy reasons that nobody cares about — some of Android’s core APIs really are bad. I mean baaaaad bad.

    Rescued by Russians

    I kept hearing about this new-ish programming language for the JVM and Android called Kotlin. From Russia, of all places. More specifically, from JetBrains, the makers of the world-famous IntelliJ IDEA IDE

    Last year I noticed that Kotlin had a fair amount of buzz. Not hype, just… buzz.

    I was just window shopping. First glance? Nothing immediately wrong with it. It’s clean and modern. If anything it felt almost hipsterish in its adoption of all the latest new trends in language design. But there are oodles of languages like that. Just look at Rust. Another solid, appropriately-named language that almost nobody uses. How “good” a language is doesn’t really matter from an adoption standpoint.

    Android: Kotlin’s Killer App

    It’s nigh-impossible for any new language to get traction these days. That’s not to say there are no new languages. There are neat new ones almost every year! But nobody will ever, ever use them.

    It turns out the perfect killer app here — and this brings us full circle — is Android’s crappy Red Light APIs.

    Kotlin’s competitive advantage, though, is that it’s not a full-on departure. It’s completely 100% interoperable and even interminglable with Java, almost (though not quite) to the extent that C++ was to C. Kotlin feels like an evolutionary step. You can just start mixing it right into your existing Android project, right there in the same directories, and call back and forth without batting an eyelash.

    I was first in line to throw the Android book at the wall and give up last summer, but now with Kotlin I’m finding Android programming is, dare I say it — enjoyable? I think this suggests that Android’s “bad” APIs weren’t all that bad to begin with, but rather that Java has been masking Android’s neat functionality with a bunch of Java-y cruft.

    Is Kotlin better than whatever dumb language you’re using? I think so. Certainly so, if the language you’re using happens to be Java.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    China’s Economic Growth Hit A 30-Year-Low

    China’s economic growth slowed to its lowest levels in three decades in 2019, but analysts are welcoming Friday’s results thanks to signs that the world’s second largest economy is beginning to stabilize.

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How is computer programming different today than 20 years ago?

    Some programming concepts that were mostly theoretical 20 years ago have since made it to mainstream including many functional programming paradigms like immutability, tail recursion, lazily evaluated collections, pattern matching, first class functions and looking down upon anyone who don’t use them.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Android Malware for Mobile Ad Fraud Spiked Sharply in 2019
    Some 93% of all mobile transactions across 20 countries were blocked
    as fraudulent, Upstream says. Criminal groups are increasingly
    targeting users of Android mobile devices with malware for conducting
    ad fraud on a massive scale. Mobile security vendor Upstream this week
    said that in 2019 it identified as many as 98, 000 malicious Android
    apps and 43 million infected Android devices across the 20 countries
    where mobile operators currently use its technology. The numbers are
    up sharply from 2018 when Upstream recorded some 63, 000 apps and 30
    million infected devices.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Global tablet shipments declined 1.5% YoY to 144.1M units in 2019; Apple’s shipments grew 15.2% YoY to 49.9M units during the year


  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nick Statt / The Verge:
    Strategy Analytics: Apple shipped 30.7M Watches globally in 2019, up 36% YoY, outselling entire Swiss watch industry, which shipped 21.1M units, down 13% YoY — The Apple Watch continues to dominate the market — The Apple Watch wasn’t just the best-selling smartwatch last year …

    Apple now sells more watches than the entire Swiss watch industry
    The Apple Watch continues to dominate the market

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Web traffic increases in 2019 were driven by mobile; top 100 sites saw average of 223B monthly visits

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    FTC to examine every acquisition by Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft in 2010-2019 over antitrust issues

    The five companies will need to come clean on everything about every deal they have made — whether or not media has spilled the beans on the deal or not — including the terms (that is, price and other financial details), scope, structure, and purpose of each transaction made between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2019.

    “The orders will help the FTC deepen its understanding of large technology firms’ acquisition activity

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Research: Macs Saw Almost Twice as Much Malware as Windows PCs in 2019

    If you’re using a Mac because ‘Macs don’t get viruses’, think again.

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Equifax. Anthem. Marriott. OPM. By combining personnel data with travel records, health records, and credit info, Chinese intelligence has amassed in just five years a database more detailed than any nation has ever possessed about one of its adversaries.

    China’s Hacking Spree Will Have a Decades-Long Fallout

    Equifax. Anthem. Marriott. OPM. The data that China has amassed about US citizens will power its intelligence activities for a generation.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Steve Jobs introduces iPhone in 2007

    This is the iPhone introduction excerpt from the Macworld San Francisco 2007 Keynote Address January 9th, 2007. Steve Jobs made the claim that it was 5 years ahead of any other phone.

    This was the beginning of the end for Blackberry

    “A widescreen iPod with Touch Controls”
    - – audience – : WOOOW
    “A Revolutuonary Mobile Phone”
    “A Breakthrough Internet Communications Device”
    - – audience – : UH OK

    “who wants a stylus? Nobody wants a stylus.”
    “Now introducing Apple pencil…”

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Americans received 58.5 billion robocalls in 2019. For robocallers, it’s all downhill from here, says 1 tech CEO who’s combatting the illegal calls.

    You’ll Never Get As Many Robocalls Again As You Did In 2019, Twilio CEO Says

    Last year, the average American received 178 robocalls. With tech and government regulations coming into place, Jeff Lawson, CEO of cloud communications company Twilio, thinks robocalls have reached an inflection point.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Catalin Cimpanu / ZDNet:
    FBI says it received 467,361 cybercrime complaints in 2019, with attacks involving business email compromise causing about half of the estimated $3.5B in losses — Average loss per BEC scam amounted to nearly $75,000, per complaint, on average. — The FBI received 467,361 internet …

    FBI: BEC scams accounted for half of the cyber-crime losses in 2019
    Average loss per BEC scam amounted to nearly $75,000, per complaint, on average.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    FBI Releases IC3 2019 Internet Crime Report
    The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Internet Crime Complaint
    Center (IC3) has released the 2019 Internet Crime Report, which
    includes statistics based on data reported by the public through the
    IC3 website. The top three crimes types reported by victims in 2019
    were phishing/vishing/smishing/pharming, non-payment/non-delivery, and
    extortion.. Also:

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    172 ransomware attacks on US healthcare organizations since 2016
    (costing over $157 million)
    Since 2016, ransomware attacks have become a huge cause for concern
    for hospitals all over the world. They cripple key systems and prevent
    hospitals from accessing crucial patient data until a fee is paid to
    the hacker (or the ransomware is removed by IT specialists).

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How we fought bad apps and malicious developers in 2019
    Google Play connects users with great digital experiences to help them
    be more productive and entertained, as well as providing app
    developers with tools to reach billions of users around the globe.
    Such a thriving ecosystem can only be achieved and sustained when
    trust and safety is one of its key foundations. Over the last few
    years weve made the trust and safety of Google Play a top priority,
    and have continued our investments and improvements in our abuse
    detection systems, policies, and teams to fight against bad apps and
    malicious actors.. Also:

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Over 22,000 Vulnerabilities Disclosed in 2019: Report

    More than 22,000 vulnerabilities were disclosed in 2019 and over one-third had an exploit or a proof-of-concept (PoC) available, Risk Based Security revealed on Tuesday.

    The company’s 2019 Year End Vulnerability QuickView Report shows that of the 22,316 new security holes 33% were rated high severity based on their CVSS score. The total number of vulnerabilities was slightly smaller compared to 2018 (23,210 vulnerabilities) and roughly the same as in 2017.

    It’s worth noting that thousands of vulnerabilities disclosed last year have not been assigned CVE identifiers.

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    HackerOne Surpasses $82 Million in Paid Bounties

    With $40 million in bug bounties paid in 2019, hacker-powered bug bounty platform HackerOne nearly doubled the amount paid out in all previous years combined, reaching $82 million.

    The platform, which in 2019 also doubled the number of registered hackers, surpassing the 600,000 mark, received over 150,000 valid vulnerability reports last year, as part of more than 1,700 customer programs, run by both companies and government agencies.

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    … A National Security Agency system that analyzed logs of Americans’ domestic phone calls and text messages cost $100 million from 2015 to 2019, but yielded only a single significant investigation, according to a newly declassified study.
    Moreover, only twice during that four-year period did the program generate unique information that the F.B.I. did not already possess, said the study, which was produced by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board and briefed to Congress on Tuesday.
    “Based on one report, F.B.I. vetted an individual, but, after vetting, determined that no further action was warranted,” the report said. “The second report provided unique information about a telephone number, previously known to U.S. authorities, which led to the opening of a foreign intelligence investigation.”


  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ethical hackers submitted more bugs to the Pentagon than ever last year

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Interesting analytics of 200 Russian hacking operations from a high-level view.
    #hacking #cyberdefense #cybersecurity #cyberwall

    Booz Allen analyzed 200+ Russian hacking operations to better understand their tactics

    Booz Allen: Russia uses its GRU military hackers following predictable patterns based on a public military doctrine.

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Well, 2019 finished with Intel as king of the chip world, Broadcom doing OK, everyone else shrinking. Good thing 2020′s looking up, eh?
    Oh, oh no… oh God

    ntel and Broadcom were the lone beacons of success in an otherwise dismal semiconductor market last year, according to industry analysts at Omdia (formerly IHS Markit).

    While the semi industry as a whole shrunk by 11.7 per cent, revenue-wise, in 2019, Chipzilla expanded its cash intake by 1.3 per cent, year on year. According to Omdia, that allowed Intel to blow past Samsung as the number-one cash-generating king, in terms of annual revenues.

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mary Meeker’s most important trends on the internet
    Here are all the slides, plus analysis.

  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Debian Linux Was The Most Vulnerable Operating System In The Last 20 Years

    Many believe Windows is the most vulnerable operating system, which makes users running it sitting ducks in front of attackers trying to hack into their computers.

    But according to an analysis published by TheBestVPN based on data from the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s National Vulnerability Database, Debian Linux was the operating system with the biggest number of vulnerabilities in the last 20 years.

  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    This Bank Had the Worst Password Policy We’ve Ever Seen

    A European bank makes customers pay to change their passwords, and suggests they Google their password to check if it is secure.

    FinecoBank, a bank with more than 1.3 million customers in Italy and the UK, suggested an unusual password strategy to its customers: copy and paste the password into Google, and see if anyone else is using it.

    “Verify the security of your passwords,” FinecoBank’s website tells new customers when they set up their online account. “Insert it on Google: if it returns less than 10 results it means it’s a good password.”

    A FinecoBank customer support confirmed that the bank suggests customers to Google their password in order to make the password “as secure as possible.” After we reached out to FinecoBank for comment, a spokesperson said that “we understand the criticism and we decided not to suggest anymore to our clients to do so.”

  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    2004 to 20.04 LTS: Ubuntu in popular culture

    When we launched Ubuntu back in 2004, our mission to make well-supported, free open source software available to everyone, everywhere was a bold one – but today, Ubuntu is one of the world’s most popular operating systems. One consequence of that popularity is that Ubuntu has very much entered the public consciousness, and its influence can be seen across all kinds of popular culture.

  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    2019 Data Breach Hall of Shame: These were the biggest data breaches of the year
    We never want to hear the words “unsecured database” ever again.

  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    It is human stupidity that started reveals the data was a major issue:
    ‘The words “unsecured database” seemed to run on repeat through security journalism in 2019.’

  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nearly 1,000 Vulnerabilities Found in Popular Open Source Projects in 2019

    Nearly 1,000 vulnerabilities were found in popular open source projects in 2019, more than double compared to the previous year, according to a report published on Monday by risk management company RiskSense.

    RiskSense has analyzed 54 open source projects in which nearly 2,700 vulnerabilities were reported between 2015 and March 2020. Overall, the Jenkins automation server and MySQL had the most vulnerabilities reported during this timeframe, with more than 600 flaws each. For each of these pieces of software, 15 vulnerabilities were weaponized (i.e. public exploit code exists).

    Some projects, such as Vagrant, Alfresco and Artifactory have only a few vulnerabilities, but high weaponization rates.


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